R Ashwin Virat Kohli India
Turn or not turn, India showed why they are such a great team at home with the whitewash of New ZealandReuters

Not one of the three pitches in the Test series against New Zealand were the proverbial dustbowls, the one that spins from day one. All three of the wickets made the bowlers, particularly the spinners, work hard for their wickets, so it would have been doubly satisfying for the likes of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to do so well against a pretty good New Zealand batting lineup.

It was also vindication for Virat Kohli and his team, after much criticism was levelled at them for playing on tailor-made, spins-a-lot pitches in their previous home Test series – last year against South Africa.

Harbhajan Singh, who has been a part of a few recent India squads, was one of the critics of the pitches that India have prepared in recent times, saying, before the start of this India vs New Zealand series, that the home team do not need to prepare square turners to win matches.

Talking about pitches and how conducive it is to India's strengths or otherwise is a touchy subject for Kohli, and understandably too, because it takes away from the players' performances, which, since he has taken over as Test captain, has been quite outstanding, irrespective of the conditions.

When Kohli was put the question on the criticism he and his team have received over the pitches, the captain asked: "Who made that statement?" When he was told Harbhajan Singh was one of them, the only reply was: "Oh, OK."

After taking a bit of time, Kohli continued. "Obviously, I mean, see even if it is a turning pitch you have to bowl well," Kohli said. "There is no... spin doesn't happen only off the pitch. Spin is about how many revs you impart off the shoulder first. And then the ball will do something off the pitch.

"I quite clearly remember after we lost to New Zealand in the World T20, suddenly their spinners were quality and we were found out. I don't see anyone talking about that now. The same spinners have played. Why have they not been able to pick wickets? It is as simple as that.

"Our fast bowlers picked wickets everywhere. We never complained about anything. So... see you can give a guy a cement track to bat on. He still needs to have the mindset to score runs. It is as simple as that."

As simple as that indeed. A turner from day one, a green wicket – like the one in Kolkata – a good batting track – like the one in Indore – the pitch doesn't really matter that much. India are a formidable force at home, and the New Zealand whitewash only emphasised that fact.

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